As you’re all well aware, Seattle’s fall weather has been hot hot hot. With warm and dry weather comes the risk of wildfires, basically the bane of the PNW. With a later-than-normal wildfire season, Washington is getting ravaged with smoke, so much so that we top the charts with the world’s unhealthiest air.

IQAir ranks air quality across the world and normally Seattle stays pretty low on the list. However, air quality levels today rose to an unprecedented level of 245 which is considered ” very unhealthy”. As of 1:30 PM today, October 20th, it is the worst air quality in the entire world for the second day in a row.

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seattle air quality
Photo via IQAir

Seattle’s air quality has steadily been getting worse since Sunday, October 16th when it sat at a “moderate” level of 90. It then jumped to 107 and then even more so up to 165 on October 18th and 238 on October 19th.

As such, Seattle and many parts of Washington are currently under air quality warnings with recommendations to stay inside if possible.

For some local and global comparisons, our southern neighbor Portland, Oregon currently has the second worst air quality in the world with a level of 198. China comes in third and fifth with Beijing and Wuhan sitting at 174 and 164. Unsurprisingly, our northern neighbors in Vancouver, BC, Canada sit in fourth place with a score of 164.

The good news is that rain is returning this weekend along with some lower temperatures. Hopefully, this will be enough to move some of the smoke out of the city, making air quality better for Seattleites and others living in Western Washington.

With that, have a great rest of your week, and use this as a solemn reminder that only you can prevent wildfires.